I do GSD rescue and picked up an 8 month old working lines dog two months ago. His background and pedigree are known. He received basic obedience form a "Petsmart" type class when he was very young. When he grew too large and boisterous for the apartment, his owner drugged and crated him for most of the time. His vet called a halt to the dope and called me because he was getting dangerous and out of his owner's control. When he arrived we thought we might have to put him down-- he was frantic and crazy.
Two months later, he is still energetic and boisterous, alert and wanting a job- intelligent and not crazy. We are repeating his earlier obedience training and he is slated for a level two class at the end of January going for his CGC test. A local SAR group leader says he can join, if he proves to be promising and passes a first level Therapy Dog test. that is months down the road and we have a plan.
However, my other dogs started tracking work at three months of age and he is one year. What should we be doing to prepare him? My dutch shepherd and my older GSD started out in schutzhund tracking which is different from the sport of tracking stateside and both are very different from SAR.
I had considered starting him on short lengths of "variable surface" tracking" to get him used to searching an area not scented by crushed vegetation. Also considered letting him track naturally with raised head, allowing air scenting, instead of making him glue his nose to the ground as in schutzhund.
Would appreciate some direction here. We need a bit of a road map so we don't go off in the wrong direction.
Thank you for your patience, if you got to the end of this post.